Women's Update: Recapping 2016 and Team News

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Dec. 05, 2016, 3:07 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Dec. 5, 2016) – Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) and Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) were honored with prestigious USA Volleyball season-ending awards last week, but the U.S. Women’s National Team had several other key contributor during the 2016. Check out the season stats to see how all the players ranked.

STATS OVERLOAD: The U.S. Women’s National Team finished the 2016 with a 27-4 record and medaled in all four tournaments it entered. So who finished as the best scorer for Team USA? That would go to two different players, depending on how you look at stats. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) tallied the most points with 248 points scored, edging out outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) and her 237 points. However, middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) had the best scoring average with 3.45 points per set, just eclipsing the 3.43 scoring average of Hill to top the list of players with at least 25 sets played. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) led the team in blocking with 49 total blocks and a 0.82 block average. Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), who played in the Pan American Cup for Team USA, scored a whopping 50 aces in 25 sets played for a 2.00 ace per set average. Hill was the next closest with 28 aces as part of a 0.41 ace average. Akinradewo produced the top hitting efficiency on the season with a .506 hitting efficiency (188-30-312) as well as the top kill percent at 60.3. Adams was next in both categories among players with at least 25 sets played, producing a .455 hitting efficiency (134-27-235) and 57.0 kill percent. Larson and libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa, Twitter, Instagram) tied for the most digs in 2016 with 127 apiece, and both did so in 74 sets for a 1.72 dig per set average. Ironically, Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan, Twitter, Instagram) was next in line for the digs lead as a setter, compiling 114 digs as part of a 1.44 average. The U.S. had 30 players suit up to play in official matches in 2016. To view the season stats, click here for PDF or click here for Excel.

LARSON TABBED FEMALE INDOOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR, ADAMS MOST IMPROVED: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) has been a model of consistency leading to success since joining the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2009. For her contributions this past year, Larson has been selected as the 2016 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) was tabbed as the 2016 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Most Improved Player of the Year. During the 2016 Olympics, Larson averaged 2.69 kills, 0.34 blocks and 0.28 aces per set with an overall 3.31 points average. She converted 41.5 percent of her attacks into points with a .295 hitting efficiency. Adams played in 60 sets during 2016 with averages of 3.37 points, 2.23 kills, 0.82 blocks and 0.32 aces per set. She converted 57.0 percent of her attacks into points with a .455 hitting efficiency. Competing in her first-ever Olympic Games, Adams averaged 3.00 points per set with 2.11 kills, 0.68 blocks and 0.21 aces per set in Rio de Janeiro. She held a .457 hitting efficiency in starting all eight matches at the Olympics. For the full feature with quotes, click here.

HYMAN, BUCK-CROCKETT ELECTED INTO TEXAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Rita Buck-Crockett and the late Flo Hyman have been elected into the 2017 Texas Sports Hall Fame and will become the first two volleyball players ever to be inducted into the Hall. Buck-Crockett, a San Antonio native, was selected to the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Teams after playing collegiately at the University of Houston. Hyman was the first female scholarship athlete at the University of Houston where she was a three-time All-American before being selected to the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Teams. Hyman and Buck-Crockett were part of the Olympic silver-medal winning team in 1984 after missing out on the 1980 Olympics due to U.S. boycott. The eight-member Class of 2017 will be honored on Feb. 21 at the Waco Convention Center. Combination reception/banquet tickets are $200 each or $1,400 for a reserved table of eight. Banquet-only tickets can be purchased for $75 each, or $600 for a reserved table of eight. To purchase tickets, please call the museum at 800-567-9561 or visit tshof.org/buy-tickets. For more details, click here.

2ND ANNUAL GIVE IT BACK FOUNDATION VOLLEYBALL CAMP: The Give It Back Foundation, co-founded by U.S. Women’s National Team members Courtney Thompson (Kent, Washington, Twitter, Instagram) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii, Twitter, Instagram), is currently inspiring and empowering the next generation of volleyball players to be the best they can be through its second annual charitable camp. Following up on a successful inaugural Give It Back Foundation Camp in Thompson’s hometown that donated $35,000 proceeds to The Children’s Therapy Center of Kent, Washington, the second annual event will have four stops in Miyashiro’s home state of Hawaii from Dec. 3-14. All of the net proceeds from each Give It Back Foundation camp will be donated to a charity in the community that is hosting the camp. For the four camps in Hawaii, 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit HUGS Hawaii.

  • Oahu Camp – Dec. 3-4
  • Big Island Camp – Dec. 6-8
  • Kauai Camp – Dec. 10-11
  • Maui Camp – Dec. 12-14

All camps are open to girls in grade 9-12. Past and present U.S. Women’s National Team players Nicole Davis (Stockton, California, Twitter, Instagram), Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan, Twitter, Instagram), Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Michigan, Twitter, Instagram) will join Thompson and Miyashiro as coaches for the clinics for one or more clinics. During each camp, the coaching staff will teach topics such as growth mindset, self-talk, mindfulness, goal setting, nutrition and specific exercises in the weight room. For more information on the camps, contact info@giveitbackfoundation.org or visit the website at giveitbackfoundation.org. To register for one of the four camps, click here.

HUGS Hawaii has a mission to “improve the quality of life for families as they face the emotional and financial hardships of caring for a seriously ill child. For more on the charity, click here.

LLOYD, GIBBEMEYER WITH ITALY’S CASALMAGGIORE: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist setter for Team USA, and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) have returned to Italy to compete for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 league and the CEV Cup. Casalmaggiore rallied from two sets down to defeat ninth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena 21-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-15, 25-10 on Dec. 3. Lloyd set the team to a 39 kill percent for the match and scored three points with one ace, one block and one kill. Gibbemeyer contributed six points and three kills for nine points. Casamaggiore, now in second place with 19 points and a 7-1 record, will resume Italian League action on Dec. 11 versus league-leader Foppapedretti Bergamo (7-1, 20 points). In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore will face Maccabi XT Haifa in the 16th Final Round with dates of the home-and-home series with the first match set for Jan. 1 and the return match date not yet determined.

BARTSCH WITH ITALY’S BOLZANO: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois, Twitter), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sudtirol Bolzano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Bolzano lost to fourth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci 21-25, 25-21, 25-17, 27-29, 15-10 in a heartbreaking match on Dec. 4. Bartsch hammered 17 kills on 45 swings while producing a 70 positive reception percent on a team-best 37 reception chances in the loss. Bolzano (2-7, 8 points), now in ninth place, will look to avoid a second straight loss when it faces 10th-place Saugella Team Monza (2-6, 6 points) on Dec. 10.

HILL WITH TURKEY’S VAKIFBANK: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) a bronze medalist on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, returns this winter to play for Turkey’s VakifBank and in the European Champions League. VakifBank handled Idman Ocago 25-23, 25-18, 26-24 on Nov. 30 in its first match of the week. In a starting role all three sets, Hill pocketed 11 points with 10 kills on 19 attacks with just one error to go with a block. She also handled 15 receptions with a 60 positive percent. VakifBank blanked Fenerbahce (4-3) 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 on Dec. 4. Hill was a sub in all three sets with two serves and three receptions with a 67 excellent reception percent. Turkish league-leader VakifBank, the only undefeated team with an 8-0 record, is back in action on Dec. 10 against Canakkale. VakifBank, which had byes in the first, second and third rounds of the European Champions League, is part of the double round robin fourth round Pool D where it will face Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg, Dresdner SC and Turkish rival Eczacibasi starting in mid-December. VakifBank opens against Uralochka on Dec. 14 in Istanbul.

LARSON, ADAMS WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram), both members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that won bronze in Rio, are playing for Eczacibasi of the Turkish League and as part of the European Champions League this winter. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi trimmed Galatasaray 33-31, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23 on Nov. 30 in its first Turkish League match of the week. Larson scored 15 points with 11 kills coming on 25 attacks and just one error to go with two aces and two blocks. She also handled 29 receptions with a 48 positive reception percent. Due to foreigner limits in the Turkish League, Adams did not suit in the match. However, Eczacibasi lost a five-set thriller 25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 12-25, 15-13 to last-place Seramiksan on Dec. 4. Larson contributed 14 points in the match with 12 kills on 25 attacks and two aces. She was credited with a 61 positive reception percent on 18 chances. Adams, starting all but the third set, notched eight points with six kills on eight swings, one block and one ace. Eczacibasi (5-3), which remains in second place, returns to Turkish League action on Dec. 11 versus 10th-place Nilufer (1-7). In Champions League action, Eczacibasi has advanced to the fourth round where it will face Turkish rival VakifBank, Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg and Germany’s Dresdner in a double-round robin Pool D. Eczacibasi opens at Dresdner on Dec. 14.

FAWCETT, CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) and middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California, Instagram), both alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer won its second match in a row by defeating Nilufer 25-17, 25-18, 25-15 on Nov. 30. Fawcett pounded out 16 points with 14 kills on 23 swings and two aces. Crimes chipped in 10 points with eight kills on 10 swings and two blocks. However, Sariyer was unable to keep the win streak alive on Dec. 4 as it fell to Bursa B. Sehir 25-17, 25-16, 27-25. Fawcett chalked up 13 points with 12 kills on 31 swings and an ace. Crimes was limited to three points in the match. Sariyer, now in ninth place with a 2-6 record, will look to avoid a two-match losing streak when it faces eighth-place Besiktas (4-4) on Dec. 11.

ROBINSON, LOWE WITH CHINA’S BAIC MOTORS: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram), both members of the 2016 bronze-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are in China this winter playing for BAIC Motors Beijing. BAIC Motors broke a two-match losing streak by sweeping Dianchi Lake 25-14, 25-17, 25-15 on Dec. 3. Lowe was credited with 11 kills on 15 swings as part of a 12-point performance. Robinson added 10 points, including two blocks. BAIC Motors (4-4), in fourth place, will seek a second straight win on Dec. 6 against second-place Jiangsu Zhongtian (6-2) in the second-to-last regular season match.

MURPHY, EASY WITH CHINA’S HENAN: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), a bronze medalist with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, and outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are playing in the Chinese League this winter with Henan. Henan dropped a 25-20, 25-13, 18-25, 25-22 match to Shenzhen on Dec. 3. Easy totaled 19 points with 18 kills on 51 swings and a block. Murphy added seven points in the loss. Henan (1-7), in sixth place in the six-team Group A, has two regular season matches remaining.

AKINRADEWO WITH SWITZERLAND’S VOLERO ZURICH: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram), the Best Blocker in the 2016 Olympic Games after leading the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team to a bronze medal, is playing for Volero Zurich in the Swiss League and in the European Champions League. Volero swept Volley Lugano 25-13, 25-17, 25-8 on Dec. 4 to remain undefeated in the Swiss League. Volero will return to action on Dec. 10 against Viteos NUC I. Volero, which had first, second and third-round byes in the European Champions League, starts the double-round robin fourth round Pool B against Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar on Dec. 13.

HANCOCK WITH POLAND’S IMPEL WROCLAW: Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram), who played for the U.S. Women during the 2016 Pan American Cup and set the tournament record for aces in a match and tournament, is playing for Poland’s Impel Wroclaw in the Orlen Liga. Wroclaw defeated Polski Cukier Muszynianka 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 25-11 at home on Nov. 30. Hancock set her team to a 38 kill percent while placing four individual kills on seven swings, one block and one ace on the stat sheet. American teammate Megan Courtney charted 11 points with eight kills on 30 swings, two aces and a block. In its second match of the week, Wroclaw nearly pulled off an upset of second-place Chemik Police before falling 25-20, 18-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-9 on Dec. 3. Hancock set her club to a 39 kill percent as a team and delivered eight individual points with five kills on 12 errorless attacks, two aces and a block. Courtney added 17 points via 14 kills on 39 swings, two blocks and an ace. Wroclaw, which falls to fourth place with a 5-4 record and 18 points, will challenge seventh-place PTPS Pila (5-4, 14 points) on Dec. 7 and third-place KS Palac Bydgoszcz (6-3, 19 points) on Dec. 11.